Re: DFSG violations: non-free but no contrib
On Tue, Nov 04 2008, Loïc Minier wrote:
> Because I can consider the wifi firmware a subsystem which doesn't
> contaminate my main OS; there's a clear interface between the two
> systems -- it's like talking to another computer, talking to your
> hard disk, talking to your keyboard: something proprietary or free
> might well be inside, I don't care as long as I can run a free OS on
> the main CPU. I'd *prefer* if it was free, but I can start another
> project to fulfill this goal. I don't want the freedom requirements
> for the main OS to require using free hardware, just like I want the
> freedom requirements to require talking to computers running free
So you only care for one of the two freedoms. Which is
fair. Some of our users care about fewer freedoms -- they would be
happy if we distributed nvidia binary drivers in main. None of this,
however, is relevant to the central issue.
> Now if Debian can distribute a blob which allows my hardware to run as
> indicated by a clear interface with my free OS, that's good enough for
> me. If something breaks, I can look at the interface and fix the OS or
> blame the hardware (+ firmware). I don't personally feel like I need
> the freedom to fix the firmware more than the hardware.
> (However, I acknowledge that we must make it clear that particular
> files are only distributed as enablement tools, and don't come with
> ultimate source, tools, and doc.)
As I said, this is expressing your personal preference for the
kinds of freedom you care about.
> And if we don't require the hardware to be freely modifiable, why
> require the firmware to be so?
The issue is not really about whether the user can achieve
perfect freedom -- we do not restrict user actions. They may dual boot
Vista if they wish.
The issue is whether Debian distributes things that restrict
user freedoms. Last I looked, we did not distribute the hardware.
>> And if the answer reduces down to 'firmware is made by proprietary
>> vendors and does something many people need and we don't have a
>> replacement yet' - well thats fine, but at various points we didn't have
>> a free kernel, or a free libc, or a free graphic desktop environment.
> Google.com is run with software I don't have access to, but I use it
> daily, as well as my microwave, or my wifi card.
Sure. but Debian does not distribute them.
Is knowledge knowable? If not, how do we know that?
Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>
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